Reach & Read: The Dim Sum Field Guide by Carolyn Phillips

Cute little book that if paired with a gift card or IOU to a tasty local Chinese restaurant or bakery would make a great gift. The content of the book was tested with the hubs and some friends of Asian descent: first we would try to guess based on the illustration which common dim sum item was depicted. Sadly, despite us all routinely consuming food, we missed them all except chicken feet, because feet are pretty obviously. Photographs with a filter to match the overall feel and theme of the book would have been more valuable. The descriptions are helpful, chockfull of colorful descriptors and near poetic, to the point that some of them, if read out loud begin to suggest something more than a snack (approximate interpretation of Cantonese word).

Each of ‘snack’ is described in terms of ‘genus’, identification, basic filling, sauce, ‘nesting habits’, origins and species (related snacks). While quite thorough, this information would not substitute for asking if allergic/intolerant to ubiquitous ingredients like shrimp, gluten, pork or adventure nor will pulling out the book assist in ordering, in fact both of these actions might net you nada….. My recommendation is to consider this book as a fun invitation to commune with friends but not a complete reference on dim sum matters. Besides when you truly are enjoying a dim sum experience you are ordering with your eyes and nose as the servers roll by, pushing (literally and figuratively) their delectable wares.


I received a copy of this book to review but I was not financially compensated, nor required to say something positive, in any way. The opinions expressed are my own and are based on my experience and observations while reading this book.

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